There’s a buzz building around the Philadelphia Eagles and around its offensive coordinator, Shane Steichen. The playoffs are upon us, and everyone is in win-now mode, mostly because everyone knows that this team will look much different next season.
Between salary cap constraints, 20 impending free agents, and the growing possibility that Philly might lose two of their top assistants as they pursue head-coaching gigs of their own, this team can’t stay together as currently constructed.
First things first. Everyone is focused on the coming postseason. The hope is it ends with this team raising the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in franchise history, but after that who knows? Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon could both be head coaches in 2023.
The Eagles, for the first time in their history, fielded two 1,000-yard receivers, A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. Miles Sanders chipped in with a 1,000-yard rushing season, the best of his career.
Couple that with the fact that Jalen Hurts has transformed into an MVP-level quarterback (and the NFL being an offensive league), and you can understand why there’s a possibility that Shane Steichen earns his opportunity sooner than Gannon.
Here are three candidates worthy of assuming the role of Eagles offensive coordinator if Shane Steichen heads elsewhere.
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and the franchise’s CEO/chairman Jeffrey Lurie are fans of internal promotion, and that figures to be the best route for filling a potentially vacant O.C. role. We shouldn’t rule out the return of a fan favorite either. If Shane Steichen assumes a new role elsewhere, here are the best options to replace him.
Kevin Patullo, Eagles passing game coordinator
If you’ll remember, during Sirianni’s bout with COVID back in December of 2021, it was Kevin Patullo who was to assume head-coaching duties in Coach’s absence. Patullo is Nick’s right-hand man, and if Steichen was to wind up elsewhere, allowing Philly’s passing game coordinator to take over as O.C. would figure to be a smooth and easy transition.
Brian Johnson, Eagles quarterbacks coach
Brian Johnson has known Jalen Hurts for a long time and has been a friend of the Hurts family for even longer having once played football for Jalen’s father as a prep star. This is Johnson’s second year as Eagles quarterbacks coach.
Prior to that, from 2018 to 2020, he served successfully as the Florida Gators’ offensive coordinator. He led their offense to become the most prolific in the FBS (387.6 yards per game). He’s respected in NFL circles, and his star continues to rise, particularly for the way he has mentored Jalen Hurts.
Frank Reich, former Indianapolis Colts head coach
Frank Reich, as you know, before leading the Indianapolis Colts as their head coach, served in several coaching roles beginning in 2006. He was Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator from 2016 until 2017. Some have even expressed their hopes that he’ll return.
We know that he was a mentor to Nick Sirianni and that Nick still maintains his fondness for him. The question however is this. Would Reich return as an assistant to a man he helped groom? Regardless of what happens, something tells us they’ve already been talking.